Lee Hurst, TV comedy legend and standup comedian is the promoter of the Local Comedy Club, which regularly visits Rayleigh Mill Hall for public gigs. Lee has written to the campaign and given his thoughts on Rochford District Council's plans to demolish our hall with a direct appeal to the council to reconsider:
My name is Lee Hurst and I am a stand up comedian and stand up comedy promoter. I have my own venue in the East End in Bethnal Green called the Backyard Comedy Club which opened in 1998. I also have another brand called The Local Comedy Club putting on semi regular stand up comedy shows with 3 comedians and myself as host. This built up to 15 venues until Covid halted it. One of those venues was Rayleigh Mill Hall.
This was my most successful venue selling out well in advance every single time. Infact it proved so popular we moved the main stage to fit more seats in. (Still legal I might add.) The nights there were fantastic. The staff were so helpful and you could not wish for a better atmosphere with the audiences we had. It was talked about a lot by the comedians I brought there and other comedians were lining up to take their turn.
I feel it’s a real shame to remove this venue from your local area, not just for me, but for the local people who attended en masse. They are your constituents that you would be denying a safe space to go out to and I think this is sad. Particularly with people having lost their social lives this past year. They will want to start living again and if this proposed plan goes ahead, it will be one more thing to look forward to removed from them.
I do hope you reconsider.
Should you decide to go ahead, at least plan to give the local people something with the same capacity. They should get like for like.
You can visit Lee Hurst's websites here: